PLAYBACK By Patricia Esteves (The Philippine Star ) Updated March 11, 2012 12:00 AM
Charice performing at the Big Dome last Friday night — the fourth stop of her Infinity Asian tour.
A few weeks back, international singing sensation Charice was the subject of nasty blind items in tabloids. They said her concert in Manila, the fourth stop in her 10-city Infinity Asian tour, was bound to flop because of weak ticket sales.
Charice’s official fans club, Chasters, was naturally worried. But Charice and her fans had nothing to worry about after all. In a massive display of support, the Filipino pop star’s fans trooped to the Smart Araneta Coliseum last Friday and filled up the expensive sections of the Big Dome (the SVIP, VIP, patron, upper and lower box) to prove to Charice’s detractors that despite the many criticisms and negative comments thrown her way, she still has a sizable and loyal following.
Clad in a shirt, vest and black pants, Charice, who sported a new hairdo — cropped short and dyed blond — and a tattoo on her forearm, opened the show with a cover of Usher/David Guetta’s hit Without You, followed up by her own song, Lesson for Life, from her sophomore album Infinity.
The stage was simple as there were no revolving platforms, no special effects, no acrobatic stunts; it was just Charice’s soaring and magical voice which reminded why people will come to her show, and that is to hear her beautiful, beautiful voice.
Amid deafening cheers from her fans, Charice did an impressive mash-up of Faithfully by Journey and Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga.
“How are you doin’ Manila?” Charice greeted the Filipino crowd and admitted that she felt nervous performing before them.
“Five months ago, I was here with David Foster but now I am solo on this stage. I am very nervous right now,” Charice told the screaming audience.
The expensive tickets such as the front row seats, the VIP and patron sections were sold-out. The upper and lower box sections and even the general admission were almost filled up, so it was just fair to say that Charice’s concert was successful.
Fans were filled with emotion as she sang a cover of Someone Like You by Adele and Saving All My Love For You as a tribute to the late Whitney Houston.
Showing off her wide vocal range, Charice also sang a ballad version of Katy Perry’s The One That Got Away and a jazzy version of Justin Bieber’s Baby.
She also sang Tears in Heaven, which she dedicated to her deceased father.
A highlight of the concert was her duet with Iyaz of the Billboard Top 10 hit Pyramid.
Iyaz himself performed three of his hit songs at the concert.
In between songs, Charice would say “Thank you!” countless of times to her Filipino fans, and reminded them that she has not forgotten them even if she now lives thousands of miles away.
She sang more songs from her Infinity album like the Bruno Mars-written Before It Explodes, Lighthouse by Natasha Beddingfield plus Bounce Back and Heartbreak Survivor.
After a costume change, Charice sang more fast songs and encouraged the audience to dance with her, while singing Beyoncé’s Run the World and Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean.
She also performed her worldwide hit Louder to an audience who sang along with her.
After a while, she said goodbye and the lights went off.
Everybody thought the concert was over, but then Charice sang the Whitney classic I Will Always Love You, a song that she has always sung in the past four years of her career in the international scene.
Charice found fame singing Whitney songs and has even been compared to Whitney because of her richly developed voice.
She dedicated the song to her Filipino fans, whom she calls “my kababayan.” At the end of the song, she placed her own lyrics: “I will always love you, Pilipinas kong mahal, mga kababayan ko.”